Last Saturday the club travelled to Battersea Park for their final Division 3N Southern Athletics League (SAL) fixture of 2018, writes Phil York. The team finished fourth out of the five teams involved, in a match won by Wycombe Phoenix Harriers. This meant that ESM finished in a mid-table position overall this season. This was a rather disappointing outcome, given that we had expected to be promoted from the division this year.
For the men, Martin Densley cleared a height of 4.00m in the pole vault to see off the opposition, including his father Bob Densley, who was our ‘B’ string vaulter. Ahead of the competition, one of Martin’s sons proudly declared that his dad is currently the UK’s best V35 pole vaulter. Gurcharan Singh has been an ever-present this season, and took part in all four throwing events, gaining second places in the discus and javelin. He added third places in the hammer and shot put. Angelo John, always a reliable javelin thrower, partnered Gurcharan and finished fourth in the ‘A’ string, not long after completing a non-scoring 800m.
Bilal Uba, making his scoring debut in the SAL team, combined well with Miles Bernadine in the long jump, although they were at Battersea primarily to take part in the sprint events. Chris Hepworth, usually associated with the middle distance events, performed well in the high jump. Chris returned later in the day to win an exciting 1500m race.
Ben Waterman was always in control in the 800m, winning by over two seconds from new member Elias Simon Ahmed, who looked comfortable breaking two minutes for the first time. Elias also set personal bests in the 400m and 1500m, running as a non-scorer in the latter. The SAL timetable makes it difficult for athletes to complete the 400/800m double, but this was achieved by Elias and Angelo John. Elias even had the energy join Chris, Ben and George Kerry in the 4x400m relay, which they won by some distance in a fast 3:35.8. Pat Thomas was watching, and says George Kerry on second leg set them up for a good finish, opening up a gap of about 150m. The 4x100m was one of the more entertaining races, with Chris Hepworth running the anchor leg for ESM. Chris linked up with specialist sprinters Miles Bernadine, Ash Conteh and Bilal Uba as they finished a close second.
Bilal Uba and Ash Conteh covered the individual sprints, running identical times in the 100m (a PB for Bilal and Ash matched his). They also picked up good placings over 200m. Overall this was a young ESM squad, which augurs well for next season.
Elliot Jones and Akira Anzai-Jackson were delighted to set personal bests in perhaps the toughest event of the afternoon, the 5000m.
Rob Brown has lined up for the steeplechase in all five SAL matches this season, and battled well over the shorter 2000m distance, backed up by team manager Phil York. Special mention must go to young athletes Chauncey Edwards, Arun Manget and Seweryn Czapka, who always come to support the squad, whether running as scorers or non-scorers in the middle distance events. At Battersea they ran as a pack in the non-scoring 1500m, but it’s been a long hard campaign and they couldn’t quite match their personal bests set earlier in the year. They take their sport seriously and are already looking forward to the cross country season.
In her last match as women’s Team Manager, Tracey Gould won both the hammer A string and the javelin B, reports Fiona Kennedy. Discus thrower Siobhan Drummond won her specialist event decisively by throwing the 1kg implement 12 metres further than anyone else, while Tracey scored more valuable points finishing second in the B string. Siobhan also won the A string javelin.
Helen Leadbetter covered all four jumps, adding 10cm to her season’s best in the pole vault. She also found the time and energy to back up Tracey in the shot put.
Jessica Leane and Cameron Thomas both ran PBs in the 800m. Cameron won the B race, winding up the pace with 300m to go, and overtaking the leader with a storming finish around the last bend. In fact it was a good day all round for the 800m runners, with non-scorer Charlotte Cooney-Quinn also running a PB. Laura Stewart ran a season’s best in the 400m hurdles, while Nicola Ravenhill notched up a comfortable win in the steeplechase.
Pat Thomas adds a word on the 4x400m: “I drew the short straw being drafted in and pressured by Cameron to fill in. Laura came in first, handing over the baton in third. Cameron on the second leg managed to overhaul the next girl to put us in second. She told me she was conscious of wanting to give me a lead to see if I could hold on. It was horrible and tough and my legs were like jelly towards the last 100m but I managed to hold on and Nicola stormed away to bring us home in second”.
With both team managers stepping down this year, the club is looking for new people to step into their shoes. The club has the athletes to move up a Division, so it’s largely a case of getting the right people in the right place at the right time!
1 Wycombe Phoenix Harriers 368; Harlow AC 311; 3 Serpentine RC 284; 4 ESM 246; 5 Highgate Harriers/Mornington Chasers 178
ESM results summary:
Men: 100m: A: 3 Bilal Uba (U20) 11.7; B: 2 Ash Conteh 11.7; 200m: A: 3 Ash Conteh 23.9; B: 2 Bilal Uba (U20) 24.2; NS: 1 Miles Bernadine (U17) 25.5; 400m: A: 2 Elias Ahmed (U17) 52.7; B: 4 Angelo John (M45) 62.9; 800m: A: 1 Ben Waterman 1:56.0; B: 1 Elias Ahmed (U17) 1:58.3; NS: 1 George Kerry (U20) 2:04.6; NS: 3 Seweryn Czapka 2:08.9; NS: 6 Chauncy Edwards (U17) 2:15.0; NS: 8 Mukhtar Farah 2:18.8; NS: 9 Angelo John 2:20.6; NS: 11 Akira Anzai-Jackson 2:26.2; 1500m: A: 1 Chris Hepworth 4:16.1; B: 3 George Kerry (U20) 4:38.4; NS: 1 Elias Simon Ahmed (U17) 4:16.9; NS: 2 Seweryn Czapka 4:28.4; NS: 5 Chauncy Edwards (U17) 4:39.9; NS: 6 Arun Manget (U17) 4:45.0; 5000m: A: 3 Elliot Jones 17:10.3; B: 3 Akira Anzai-Jackson 18:43.3; 400mH: A: 4 Phil York (M55) 2:06.6; 2000SC A: 4 Rob Brown (M50) 8:04.6; B: 4 Phil York (M55) 9:37.1; HJ: A: 4 Chris Hepworth 1.55; B: 5 Miles Bernadine (U17) 1.30; PV: A: 1 Martin Densley 4.00; B: 4 Bob Densley (M65) 1.40; LJ: A: 5 Miles Bernadine (U17) 4.69; B: 5 Bilal Uba (U20) 4.19; TJ: A: 5 Martin Densley 9.86; SP: A: 3 Gurcharan Singh 9.70; B: 4 Phil York (M55) 5.80; DT: A: 2 Gurcharan Singh 27.98; B: 4 Martin Densley 22.97; HT: A: 3 Gurcharan Singh 22.79; B: 2 Bob Densley (M65) 17.80; JT: A: 4 Angelo John (M45) 32.20; B: 2 Gurcharan Singh 30.68; 4x100m: 3 (Ash Conteh, Miles Bernadine, Bilal Uba, Chris Hepworth) 47.8; 4x400m: 1 (Elias Simon Ahmed, George Kerry, Chris Hepworth, Ben Waterman) 3:35.8
Women: 100m: A: 3 Laura Stewart (U20) 14.2; 200m: A: 4 Laura Stewart (U20) 29.3; B: 2 Cameron Thomas (U17) 28.5; 800m: A: 3 Jessica Leane (U20) 2:28.3; B: 1 Cameron Thomas (U17) 2:30.1; 800m:NS: 2 Charlotte Cooney Quinn (U17) 2:38.9; 3000m: A: 4 Pat Thomas (W50) 13:22.9; 100HW A: 3 Laura Stewart (U20) 18.9; 400mH:W A: 2 Laura Stewart (U20) 70.7; 2000mSC: A: 1 Nicola Ravenhill (U20) 7:36.2; HJ: A: 4 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 1.30; PV: A: 2 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 2.60; LJ: A: 4 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 4.47; B: 4 Pat Thomas (W50) 2.74; TJ: A: 2 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 9.00; SP: A: 4 Tracey Gould (W40) 7.31; B: 4 Helen Leadbetter (W35) 6.38; DT: A: 1 Siobhan Drummond 36.56; B: 2 Tracey Gould (W40) 22.81; HT: A: 1 Tracey Gould (W40) 33.35; JT: A: 1 Siobhan Drummond 22.74; B: 1 Tracey Gould (W40) 21.92; 4x400m: 2 ESM 4:47.8
Full results on power of 10